Here's the staff meetings I'm involved in:

Meeting #1:
Meeting owner: my boss' boss
Attendees: most of his directs and a few skips who are managers (including me)
Scheduled frequency: weekly
Actual frequency: weekly
Scheduled duration: 30 min
Actual duration: about 45 min
Agenda: mostly business development and sales updates and other company info

This is the source of information for the waterfalls at other staff meetings in the department. People who are in the know about certain things are asked to speak about them briefly, but everyone doesn't get a turn. There's a brief open spot at the end for any announcements from anybody. This is often used to announce new hires or resignations. This meeting so consistently runs beyond the scheduled time that I've blocked of the next 30 min on my calendar so that I don't schedule something else and then move it at the last minute.

Meeting #2:
Meeting owner: my boss
Attendees: those of his directs who are managers
Scheduled frequency: weekly
Actual frequency: once or twice a month (often cancelled)
Scheduled duration: 1 hr
Actual duration: about 1 hr
Agenda: no waterfall; each of the directs (currently 3) get a chance to speak (no clear time limit)

This often feels like a O3 in public. People often talk about things that aren't relevant to the other groups so it feels like a waste of time. I've tried to prepare a list of topics for my time that focus on things that would be relevant to the others, but its not very motivating to prepare for a meeting that's often cancelled at the last minute.

Meeting #3:
Meeting owner: my boss
Attendees: all of his directs and skips involved in one aspect of the business (includes me and my directs)
Scheduled frequency: bi-weekly
Actual frequency: about once a month (often cancelled)
Scheduled duration: 1 hr
Actual duration: about 30 min
Agenda: generally just the waterfall

I have been talking with my boss a bit about how to make meetings #2 and #3 more effective. After hearing the cast, I'm thinking about scheduling a standard staff meeting (all and only my directs) on the weeks that meeting #3 doesn't occur.

I think that other improvements are in order as well.


Mark's picture
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Thank you for a clear, concise post!

And stop worrying about your boss's meetings, and your boss's style, and anything else your boss does. Just swallow it, and organize and work within the system that is fed to you.

Do not spend time trying to change your boss. It's like being an unarmed peace keeper in the Middle East today: dangerous and ineffective.


ssf_sara's picture


I've tended to have a fairly casual relationship with my boss since we've worked together for many years, most of them with him in the role of a more senior peer rather than a boss. Your frequent references to not managing the boss that come up in many of the casts are a good reminder.

I probably will set-up a meeting to address group specific issues and to have my team members update each other on their work, but if my boss wants to be the one to deliver the waterfall info to everyone in the department, so be it.


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge


Got it. And still: focus on your stuff.


JorrianGelink's picture

I use to have my boss ask me for feedback on meetings, and one of the things I personally offered to do for him is create an agenda on the topics to go over and to come up with a time based meeting method where it does not go off track. I only had to do that once, after that he would do it all the time and it was amazing. Small gestures like that go a long way. :)